Kassi Ashton first turned heads with her brooding, personal hometown song “California, Missouri.” Now, Ashton’s new song “Taxidermy” turns that tenderness into an ominous warning for a lover who did her wrong.
From the first downbeat of the song, you can feel a certain swaggering vibe to the song. That flanger-soaked electric guitar adds a heck of a lot to the overall aesthetic. And it’s a bit of a nod to the 1970s era country stars like Waylon Jennings, who employed the effect vigorously.
And if her first single established Kassi Ashton’s fearless approach to her own reality, “Taxidermy” presents a few opportunities for her to show some teeth in the classic “woman scorned” trope. Perhaps the creepiest line? “Rug on the floor, couch made of leather — you sure know how to bring a room together.” Look out, Buffalo Bill.
Unlike with her first single, Kassi Ashton didn’t write “Taxidermy.” But she knew it fit in with her personality and aesthetic quite well.
“I knew the second I heard ‘Taxidermy’ I had to have it,” Ashton says in a press release. “It’s the perfect second piece of me. Dad used to always say he didn’t have to take a gun to the door when my date came. I had my own.”
Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick and Rosi Golan wrote “Taxidermy.” And while it’s possible they had Ashton in mind for it, it’s not likely. So the fact that she got to sing it and bring it life bodes well for the song, which certainly fits into her (expanding) wheelhouse.
It’s not as powerful as “California, Missouri,” but it’s a nice second single from a new artist already getting a lot of attention.